Page images
PDF
EPUB

Each lip that to mine makes reply,
The hearts that I love, and the hearts that love me,
Utter the same sad sigh-
“ All we love must die !"

7. There are graves holding holiest ashes,

And they tell me the same sad tale,
And at times, as my heart doth listen,

My cheek is with sorrow pale.

All sounds unite in a wail
That speaketh of vanished pleasures,

That pass so swiftly by,
For all I fondly cherish,

Like shadows will quickly fly-
“All we love must die !”.

8. Weary of earth's frail pleasures,

I list to the inner voice,
And a sound triumphant awakens,

And bids my soul rejoice-
My soul will with rapture rejoice!
Though the glories of earth shall perish,

They shall bloom again on high ;
The plants that fade in the clime of earth,

In the garden of the sky,
Never can fade and die !

9. O, vanishing pictures of sunset!

O, sea's sad monotone !
O, forests and winds and flowers of earth! .

Your voices with sorrow may moan-
Grief dwells on earth alone!
There the clouds ne'er weep on the landscape,

The sunlight is aye in the sky,
The flowers aye bloom, and the pictures,

In the glorious land in the sky,
Never can fade and die !

10. O, brows that from earth have vanished !

O, hearts that have here grown cold !

Ye are now in the beautiful country,

Ye dwell in the Good Shepherd's fold;

Ye can never grow weary or old !
In that land I shall meet you and greet you,

We shall nevermore weep or sigh;
All we love shall be ours for ever,

And our beautiful home on high
Never shall fade and die !

XCII.-GOOD NATURE.

HENRY WARD BEECHER. 1. If there be one thing for which a man should be more grateful than another, it is the possession of good nature. I do not consider him good-tempered who has no temper at all. A man ought to have spirit, strong, earnest, and capable of great indignation. We like to hear a man thunder, once in a while, if it is genuine, and in the right way for a right man.

2. When a noble fellow is brought into contact with mean and little ways, and is tempted by unscrupulous natures to do unworthy things; or when a great and generous heart perceives the wrong done by lordly strength to shrinking, unprotected weakness; or when a man sees the foul mischiefs that sometimes rise and cover the public welfare like a thick cloud of poisonous vapors,—we like to hear a man express himself with outburst and glorious anger. It makes us feel safer to know that there are such men. We respect human nature all the more, to know that it is capable of such feelings.

3. But just these men are best capable of good nature. These are the men upon whom a sweet justice in common things, and a forbearance toward men in all the details of life, and a placable, patient, and cheerful mind sit with peculiar grace.

4. Some men are much helped to do this by a kind of bravery born with them. Some men are good-natured because they are benevolent, and always feel in a sunny mood; some, because they have such vigor and robust health that care flies off from them, and they really cannot feel nettled and worried ; some, because a sense of character keeps them from all things unbecoming manliness; and some, from an overflow of what may be called in part animal spirits, and in part, also, hopeful and cheerful dispositions.

5. But whatever be the cause or reason, is there anything else that so much blesses a man in human life as this voluntary or involuntary good nature? Is there anything else that converts all things so much into enjoyment to him? And then what a glow and light he carries with him to others! Some men come upon you like a cloud passing over the sun. You do not know what ails you, but you feel cold and chilly while they are about, and need an extra handful of coal on the fire whenever they tarry long. Others rise upon you like daylight.

6. How many times does a cheerful and hopeful physician cure his patients by what he carries in his heart and face, more than by what he has in his medical case! How often does the coming of a happy-hearted friend lift you up out of deep despondency; and, before you are aware, inspire you with hope and cheer. What a gift it is to make all men better and happier without knowing it! We don't suppose that flowers know how sweet they are. We have watched them. But as far as we can find out their thoughts, flowers are just as modest as they are beautiful.

7. These roses before me, salfataine, lamarque, and saffrano, with their geranium leaves (rose) and carnations and abutilon, have made me happy for a day. Yet they stand huddled together in my pitcher without seeming to know my thoughts of them, or the gracious work which they are doing! And how much more is it to have a disposition that carries with it, involuntarily, sweetness, calmness, courage, hope, and happiness, to all who are such? Yet this is a portion of good-nature in a real, large-minded, strong-natured man! When it has made him happy it has scarcely begun its office!

8. In this world, where there is so much real sorrow, and so much unnecessary grief of fret and worry; where burdens are so heavy and the way so long; where men stumble in rough paths, and so many push them down rather than help them up; where tears are as common as smiles, and hearts ache so easily, but are poorly fed on higher joys, how grate

ful ought we to be that God sends along, here and there, a natural heart-singer,-a man whose nature is large and luminous, and who, by his very carriage and spontaneous actions, calms, cheers, and helps his fellows. God bless the good-natured, for they bless everybody else!

XCIII.—THE USES OF SUFFERING.

CORA CORNWALL.
1. What beauty were there in a sky

Where naught but azure met the eye ;
Where ne'er a cloud its heavy fold
Of lurid ebon o'er it rolled ;
Where ne'er a wispy vapor flew
Betwixt the yellow sun and you ;
But endless blue and endless light

Eternal met the deadened sight?
2. Change, change alone gives all things worth

Above, below, upon the earth.
The sweetest sunbeam is the one
That cometh when the storm is done,-
When, round the dark horizon, lie

The wearied tempests heavily.
3. Who, that hath done no toiling, knows

The blessedness of sweet repose ?
Who, that hath never shed a tear,
Can whisper comfort in the ear?
Who hath not, time or other, pressed
Some hidden grief back in the breast ?
Can such know how, with nicest touch,
To probe, nor harshly nor too much,
The quivering heart that fain, unknown,
Would bear its burden all alone ?
4. Know only those who've wept can weep

With those who mourning vigils keep;
And with the joyous none know how
So well to wear a laughing brow,
As those whom suffering hath taught
To value gladness as they ought.

XCIV.-CLOSE OF THE HOLIDAYS.

A. K. H. BOYD. 1. Come, my friend, and let us walk backwards and forwards along this graveled path, already beaten by my solitary feet for an hour past. It is not a carriage drive, but a path intended for saunterers on foot. It is broad enough for two ; and the more especially if one of them, through the force of circumstances, chances to take up no space. And to-day you are at Constantinople ; and I am here. I am not quite sure as to the precise number of miles between us; but there are many hundreds, I know.

2. You know this place well ; and you would like this walk. On one hand, there is a level plot of closely mown grass, of what may be esteemed considerable extent by a man of moderate ideas. And the prominent object on that side is a pretty Gothic house, built of red sandstone, set upon a green terrace. The house is backed by a wooded cliff : a cliff wooded from base to summit. For, in every crevice of the rock, trees have rooted themselves ; that is, have been planted without man's help. And the cliff looks like a warm bank of thick foliage, now crisp and russet. That cliff is ninety feet high : no very great height ; yet, let me say, rather higher than the rocks at the Land's End.

3. But, on the other hand, there is our great sight. On the other side of this little graveled walk, which is a hundred and fifty yards in length, and nearly straight, let me tell you what there is. First, there is a border line of grass, the prettiest and least troublesome of all edgings for walks. The well-defined outline of the grass and gravel makes a simple contrast of which one never tires. Then there is a little boundary thicket made of pines of various sizes, also of laurels and yews; with here and there a staring sur.flower.

4. Beyond, there is a hedge of thorns, backed by a stone wall, five feet in height, which forms the boundary of this small domain. And though on the farther side of the wall there is a narrow public road, the sea beyond it seems (when

« PreviousContinue »